Woman carrying baby in snow

What's On

Online Event: Villette V Ruth: Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell

Charlotte Brontë is a giant of Victorian literature and the much-loved author of the classic Jane Eyre, but what of her last novel to be published during her lifetime, Villette, about the passion and pain of unrequited love?

Brontë’s semi-autobiographical book Villette tells the story of Lucy Snowe as she flees England for a Belgian boarding school. Her tale of heartache and adversity contrasts with that of Ruth, a novel about an unmarried mother written by Charlotte’s friend Elizabeth Gaskell.

Ruth shocked contemporary readers and exposed the hypocrisy of Victorian sexual double-standards. It has been recognised as the first novel to make a ‘fallen woman’ the heroine and caused huge controversy for its author. This special partnership event explores the historical reality behind these two iconic women writers and the sexual status of women in Victorian life.

Enjoy an online evening with like-minded people and join us as we delve into the original novels. There’s even the opportunity to see a first edition of both Villette and Ruth live from the Portico.

This event will include three speakers and Q&A session:

Andrew Stodolny (Learning Officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum)

Dr Emma Liggins (Co-Director of Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University)

Dr Debbie Challis (Creative Producer at The Portico).

A partnership event with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, the Brontë Parsonage Museum, The Portico and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Wednesday 26 June, 7-8.30pm

Tickets £6

**Refer to your e-ticket for joining instructions and links. Please check your spam/junk mail for ticket. This talk will also be recorded and all ticketholders will receive a link to the recording via TicketSource after the event.**

You can also support the house by buying Ruth from our online shop via this link.

If you have any questions about this event, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is run by Manchester Historic Buildings Trust (charity no. 1080606) and all money gained through private tours, talks, room hire and ticket sales goes towards the ongoing maintenance and running costs of the House. If you would like to support the House with an additional donation you can do so via this link.

Image The Lost Path by Frederick Walker © The Makins Collection

26th Jun 2024

7pm - 8.30pm

Talk, Talks

The guides brought the home alive. It was inspiring to hear about this woman and extraordinary family

Visitor to the House in 2021